The Art of Artlessness: Motherhood, Warts and All

Photographer and feminist Anna Ogier-Bloomer has spent the last few years documenting her life as the mother of a baby (now toddler) girl, Violet. In keeping with Ogier-Bloomer’s philosophy as a documentarian of the mundanities and biological realities of motherhood, the images are not always pretty, but they are genuinely fascinating.

This image, taken the first night home with the new baby, shows Ogier-Bloomer with her still-bloated body after the recent birth. The photographer’s mother lies behind her.

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - First night home, 2013

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – First night home, 2013

Anna Ogier- Bloomer - Asleep, week one, 2013

Anna Ogier- Bloomer – Asleep, week one, 2013

Anna Ogier- Bloomer - Grandpa had a cold the first time he met my daughter, Cincinnati, Ohio 2014

Anna Ogier- Bloomer – Grandpa had a cold the first time he met my daughter, Cincinnati, Ohio 2014

Several of the images feature Ogier-Bloomer breastfeeding her daughter. Breastfeeding in public has become a battleground for mothers’ rights in the last few years as more and more mothers are choosing to forsake bottled formula for breast milk owing to its many health benefits for the baby. Breastfeeding also helps the baby to bond with its mother.

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Tug, 2014

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Tug, 2014

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Splayed, 2014

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Splayed, 2014

Contrast these images with that of Violet’s father bottle-feeding her, where only his hand is visible. This composition somewhat alienates the father, making him feel more emotionally distant from the baby than the intimate images of mother breastfeeding her.

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Evening feeding with Daddy, 2014

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Evening feeding with Daddy, 2014

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Nursing and peeing, Cincinnati, Ohio

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Nursing and peeing, Cincinnati, Ohio

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Violet hot, removing her pants, Los Angeles, California 2015

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Violet hot, removing her pants, Los Angeles, California 2015

In addition to Ogier-Bloomer’s photos of her own family (largely documented in the two series Letdown and Family Pictures), she also sometimes captures the children of friends and relatives.

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Backyard pool, Los Angeles

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Backyard pool, Los Angeles

Anna Ogier-Bloomer - Alanni and Mia in rashguards, Los Angeles, California 2014

Anna Ogier-Bloomer – Alanni and Mia in rashguards, Los Angeles, California 2014